Australia lost their World Cup quarter-final to England 40-16. Photo: Aaron Favila/AP Photo
Australia lost their World Cup quarter-final to England 40-16. Photo: Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Our way or no way, says defiant Cheika as Australia crash out

By By Nick Mulvenney Time of article published Oct 19, 2019

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OITA - Michael Cheika said he would

prefer to lose the Australian way, with ball in hand, than win

by playing a more conservative game after the Wallabies crashed

out of the World Cup quarter-finals against England on Saturday. 

The Australia coach said it was too early to decide on his

future, lambasting reporters for their insensitivity in asking

the question, and was equally defiant when asked if he had been

tactically outwitted by England coach Eddie Jones. 

"We could have played better without a doubt, you always

can," he said after the 40-16 loss at Oita Stadium.

"But listen, that's the way we play footy, I'm not going to

go to a kick-and-defend game. Call me naive but that's not what

I'm going to do.

"I'd rather win it our way or no way. That's the way Aussies

want us to play." 

Australia reached the final four years ago in England and

Cheika had previously said he would only stay on after this

tournament if the Wallabies improved on that in Japan by winning

a third World Cup. 

His feelings may be moot, given his contract expires at the

end of the year, but he was certainly not prepared to share his

thoughts on Saturday.

"Mate, I'll be honest, it's a cruel, cruel world when you

ask those questions two minutes after you've been knocked out of

the World Cup," he said.

"And if you find it inside you to have a little bit of

compassion for people who are hurting, just ask more relevant


"I came here with only one thought in my mind about winning

and that thought's just disappeared now. Not 15 or 20 minutes


"When the time comes, I'll tell it. Sweet?"

Cheika said two interceptions in the match, combined with

one at a crucial stage of the pool loss to Wales, had been


Saturday's match, he argued, had come down to one or two key

moments, most notably when Australia were camped in front of the

England posts around the hour mark but came away without any


"I thought they played very well," he said of England.

"While the score was a bit large towards the end, it is a

game of fine margins, a couple of intercepts, but we had our

opportunity when we took the scrum down under the goalposts.

That was the time to score.

"They were deserved winners and they'll be a handful going

forward in the tournament." 


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